From November 2013 to January 2014, 4th grade students at PS 155 in Manhattan worked to tackle the issue pedestrian safety within their “safe school zone,” all with the help and guidance of Groundswell. The students noticed the disregard of speed limit in and around their neighborhood and school and saw how it was directly endangering students. This inspired the students to create a street sign for the Department of Transportation in an effort to keep the safe zone safe. By using symbols of families, crossing guards and cars obeying traffic, the students hope to communicate their hopes for the future of their neighborhood. Through the use of phrases such as “Slow Down,” “Children Crossing” and “No Speeding,” the students hope to bring attention to the specific problems they want to address, and hope that as a result, drivers will obey the speed limits.
The creation of this sign joins a series of projects which are part of a partnership between Groundswell and the Department of Transportation. The goal of this partnership is to improve the safety of neighborhoods throughout New York City by collaborating with youth to create new street signs that better engage the community and bring attention to safety issues.